Deceivingly, the weather indicated it would be a good day. A better day, at least. Sunshine illuminated busy Wednesday streets and occupied buildings. From the moment Haru stepped onto the sidewalk, she had a clear view of the goals she would accomplish that day, and for once, they didn't seem so out of reach. A smug grin tugged at her petite lips and, with strides of confidence, she made her way along the daily route to her workplace.
Her dark eyes beheld the vivacity of the morning city; rushing to work, to eat, to play. Her head tilted as she admired the architecture, something she'd often considered a burden. The shape of the buildings, the sheen and reflection of the windows, the bold picture in the television screens..
The television screens. Haru's stride quickly halted, and her eyes widened along with the tight crowd of people hovering around one of the screens displaying the news. The reporter gave an austere report of the previous evening's events, her hands tightly gripping the papers upon the desk.
"Mr. Shiga is currently in critical condition, after a ruthless blow to the head caused severe brain trauma. Whether or not Mr. Shiga.." The reporter's solemn words began distant at this point, Haru's pursed lips lightly quivering as she analyzed the victim on the screen. It was a mirror image of her dream, the man she'd seen struck by the wicked school child with the baseball bat. It was.. real.
Backing away slowly, and nearly falling from her weak legs, she quickly spun and all but ran to her work building. Haru couldn't believed what she'd just seen and, frankly, she began to believe she was dreaming yet again! But the frantic bustle and rustle of people and papers in her building confirmed what she'd struggled to do on her own: it was real. He was back.
She shrugged through a frenzy of people to reach her desk, where she found she had to grip it tightly just to continue to stand up. Everyone's mouth was moving, but she could hear nothing. Slowly she lowered herself into her padded chair as chaos unfolded around her. She shoved her head into her cupped hands, the breezes of people whizzing by becoming a surreal feeling as reality was beginning to cloud, and the sounds were beginning to drown out. All but one.
Tink. Tink. Silence. Her lids peeled open quickly, her heart beating violently against her chest as she strained to understand the single ping she'd just heard. And again: Tink. Tink. She knew it was there, but could she look? Her jaws clenched lightly as she slowly lowered her trembling hands, her head slowly tilting to the left. Her gaze remained on the floor but, within moments, her attention was again beckoned: TINK.
A lift of her gaze confirmed her horror as she found the only dark and once-deserted corner of the room. Now, it hosted a ghastly figure, a large baseball cap shadowing a face which held a twisted grin. The figure seemed to tower over anything in the room, although she only saw with tunnel vision the event unfolding before her. The blurry movements of people still weaved in front of and around her, but it never stole her attention from him, from his grin. It widened.
TINK. One last tap of his bat against the hard stone wall was issued and, as a startled reaction, Haru jerked emotionally. Within moments, Shounen Bat spun around on his skates and seemingly disappeared into the walls. Haru's jaw had at some point dropped, the already-pale color of her skin flushed out of her as she tried to grasp what had just happened.
She was jostled by one of her co-workers slamming their hand on her desk; it was Yumeko, the older woman with blue eyes. Haru stared at her, although still in a trance, but she was soon awakened by Yumeko's growling voice.
"Did you hear? It's happening again! It has to be him! This is big, Haru!" Yumeko's crazed gaze teemed with excitement, almost as if the news were comparable to winning a large sweepstakes. In contrast to Haru, Yumeko seemed to shiver in excitement, while Haru still trembled in fear. Too startled to respond, Haru merely stared, and Yumeko only tried to catch her attention with a few waves of her hand before she shrugged and scurried off to another desk.
'Why is this happening..' Haru's mind was a pit of confusion as thoughts crashed and set fire within her brain. She even teared up slightly and, to reassure herself, she looked into the corner again. Empty. With an unstable wobble, she pushed herself to a stand, hurriedly grabbing her things; primarily, her paper and pen.
She had to get to the bottom of this. In a dark and twisted way, she felt this was her fault. She saw it coming, somehow.. but why? All to quick she'd been shoved in the middle of this, and she hadn't a clue what was going on. All she knew was it seemed a horrible nightmare was coming to life, and she had to try to stop it.